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The Constraints of Policy: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Open Education Policies in Virginia

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These are the slides from my OEGlobal presentation. The writeup is forthcoming in Open Praxis (2017), in their special issue on the conference.

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The Constraints of Policy: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Open Education Policies in Virginia

  1. 1. THE CONSTRAINTS OF POLICY A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF OPEN EDUCATION POLICIES IN VIRGINIA JAMISON R. MILLER | THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY JRMILLER@WM.EDU | @MILLERJAMISON Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier
  2. 2. ● Context of my doctoral research ● Context of this policy research ● Research questions ● Theoretical frameworks ● Methodology and methods ● Findings ● Discussion & implications FORMAT: Image: Public Domain | Une classe by Pieter van de Heyden, 1557
  3. 3. Open education has the potential to sustainably transform existing educational institutions into more equitable and democratic forms. Public Domain Image: The subscription room at Lloyd's of London in the early 19th century
  4. 4. TRANSFORMATIVE POTENTIALS OF OPEN EDUCATION IN THEORY, POLICY, AND PRACTICE JAMISON R. MILLER | THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY @MILLERJAMISON | JRMILLER@WM.EDU
  5. 5. OPEN EDUCATION IN 1) THEORY Open Education as a Real Utopia 2) POLICY The Constraints of Policy: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Open Education Policies in Virginia 3) PRACTICE From EDUPUNK to Open Policy: Critical Technology Praxis in Higher Education Image CC (BY-NC) Jonathan Cohen
  6. 6. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier GLOBALLY, PROVISION OF AND ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION HAS COME TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948) World Conference on Education for All (1990) UNESCO World Education Forum (2000) A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE
  7. 7. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & COPYRIGHT LAWS (Chon, 2007; Lessig, 2010; Slaughter & Rhoads 2004) SYSTEMATIC ATTACK ON EDUCATION AS A PUBLIC GOOD (McMahon, 2009; Newfield, 2008; 2016) BARRIERS
  8. 8. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier OPEN UNIVERSITIES “...to promote educational well- being of the community generally...” OER 2002 UNESCO Paris Declaration (2002) Cape Town Open Education Declaration (2007) Blessinger & Bliss (2016) OPEN EDUCATION: POISED TO TRANSCEND THESE BARRIERS
  9. 9. Tidewater Community College Z-Degree, Lumen Learning Virginia Community College System Zx23 Program Virginia WHAT IS GOING ON IN VIRGINIA?
  10. 10. TWO QUESTIONS 1. How is open education discursively framed within institutional policies? 2. Do discursive framings in policies support open education and OER as transformational for education, and if so, how? Image CC (BY-SA) Véronique Debord-Lazaro
  11. 11. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS ● Tkacz (2015), Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness ● Critical Theory (Horkheimer, 1947;1972) ● Critical Approaches to Open Education (Bayne, Knox, and Ross, 2015; Deimann and Farrow, 2013; Hall, 2011; and Knox, 2013)
  12. 12. Fairclough (1993, 1995) Texts present ideologies, beliefs, messages, and meanings. CDA proposes to illuminate these messages, how they are framed, and how they can be resisted and usurped. Gee (1999) Language is not merely a means of communication, but also orders social activity. CDA is concerned with how text presents discursive practices- the ways in which we are in the world. Martínez-Alemán (2015) Has been applying CDA in higher education policy analysis. Identifies its primary purposes as 1) to reveal ideological foundations of discourse, and 2) to provide evidence (data) to support corrective action CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (CDA)
  13. 13. Image CC (BY-SA) Pleuntje DATA COLLECTION
  14. 14. DATA ANALYSIS Image CC (BY) Angie Garrett Following Martínez-Alemán (2015) and McGregor (2004), CDA is derived from an array of social science techniques and not a singular method: Establishing context(s) ● Identification of connections between aspects that construct and restrict discourse ○ CULTURE, SOCIAL IDENTITY, and LANGUAGE ● Identification of linkages between TEXT, STRUCTURAL POWER, and CONTEXT Framing the text (McGregor, 2004) ● Power relations: who is depicted in power, who has agency, who does not? ● Omission of information, nominalization (converting verbs to nouns), passive verbs ● Presuppositions, what is assumed by the author? ● Insinuations and connotations ● Tone of certainty and authority ● Register, do the words spoken ring true?
  15. 15. FINDINGS Image CC (BY) Angie Garrett “mandatory” “in accordance with the provisions” “compliance” (TCC, 2014) “global model for successful development and use” (VCCS, 2015, para. 1) “creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge” (Open Education Declaration, 2007, quoted in University of Edinburgh, 2016, p. 2)
  16. 16. FINDINGS Image CC (BY) Angie Garrett “improve student success through increased access and affordability, and improve teaching efficiency and effectiveness through the ability to focus, analyze, augment, and evolve course materials directly aligned to course learning outcomes. Faculty will be supported in their use of OER to achieve both of the stated outcomes.” (TCC, 2014, p. 1-2)
  17. 17. Image CC (BY) Angie Garrett Faculty who incorporate OER materials into their courses shall assume all responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the course content as related to copyright and scholarly merit. In order for a course to carry a Z designation within TCC’s Student Information System, faculty must follow the procedures contained in this policy. (TCC, 2014, p. 2, emphasis added) FINDINGS
  18. 18. Image CC (BY) Angie Garrett Faculty are to use only materials that are published under a Creative Commons License or exist in the Public Domain. (TCC, 2014, p. 3, emphasis added) It is the faculty member’s responsibility to ensure that such content is eligible for and meets the standards for a CC-BY license. As such, no portion of such work may be claimed by others in whole, in part, or as a derivative work. This requirement is mandatory for Z courses and strongly encouraged for OER courses. (TCC, 2014, p. 3, emphasis added) FINDINGS
  19. 19. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier DISCUSSION/IMPLICATIONS ● “Open” is non-deterministic Both conservative and progressive forces are at play ● Openings established for an emancipatory and social justice agenda ● Constraints are made explicit
  20. 20. THE CONSTRAINTS OF POLICY A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF OPEN EDUCATION POLICIES IN VIRGINIA JAMISON R. MILLER | THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY JRMILLER@WM.EDU | @MILLERJAMISON Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier
  21. 21. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier REFERENCES Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Castells, M. (2010). The rise of the network society. In The information age: Economy, society, and culture (2nd ed., Vol 1). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Castells, M. (2013). Communication power. London, UK: Oxford University Press. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: Macmillan. Floridi, L. (2011). The philosophy of information. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Freire, P. (2000 [1970]). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. Giroux, H. A. (2014). Neoliberalism's war on higher education. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books. Goldrick-Rab, S. (2016). Paying the price: College costs, financial aid, and the betrayal of the American dream. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  22. 22. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier REFERENCES hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge. McMillan-Cottom, T. 2017. Lower ed: The troubling rise of for-profits. New York, NY: The New Press. Newfield, C. (2008). Unmaking the public university: The forty-year assault on the middle class. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Newfield, C. (2016). The great mistake: How we wrecked public universities and how we can fix them. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Slaughter, S., & Rhoades, G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Wright, E. O. (2010). Envisioning real utopias. London, UK: Verso. Wright, E. O. (2012). Transforming capitalism through real utopias. American Sociological Review, 78(1), 1-25. doi: 10.1177/0003122412468882
  23. 23. ASSUMPTIONS ● Built on the assumptions that language is more than the mechanics of communication; it orders social practices and expresses ideology and thus holds impact on actions DELIMITATIONS ● Focused on institutional and state-level higher education policies from Virginia from 2007-2016 LIMITATIONS ● As open education policies are only just emerging, there are relatively few examples from which to draw ● This study will not be analyzing the impact of evident discourses Image CC (BY-SA) Edith Soto

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